Impact of community-led total sanitation on women’s health in urban slums of Kalyani Municipality

This paper documents the impact of Community led Total Sanitation (CLTS) on women’s health in urban slums of Kalyani Municipality the first open defecation free (ODF) town in India. Women’s health was viewed not only in terms of their physical health status but also their social and psychological well-being. The study also looked at how the process had empowered women and the role of the external environment in stimulating and supporting the change process. The study findings indicate that improved sanitation reduced the disease burden on women and their families, increased their safety and enhanced their social status. It was found that women played a lead role in initiating and driving sanitation and hygiene behaviour change in their communities, placing them in leadership roles and involving them in the decision- making process. This enabled woman to exercise agency in achieving gains beyond sanitation to improve their lives.